Leopold Fichtner
Occupation Soldier
Penalty Found to be insane
Imprisoned at Asylum "Am Steinhof"
Attack information
Date April 17, 1916
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Location(s) Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Killed 5
Injured 7
Weapon(s) Browning handgun
Repeating rifle

Leopold Fichtner was an Austrian soldier who killed five people and wounded seven others in Vienna, Austria-Hungary on April 17, 1916.[1][2]

At around 8:30 a.m. that morning Fichtner, an infantryman of the reserve battalion of the Landwehrinfanterieregiment Nr. 1 that was temporarily stationed at a school in the Reinlgasse in the 13th district, armed himself with a Browning handgun and a repeating rifle, shot the guards in the guardsroom, and then opened a window to fire at the people in the street. Within the next two hours[3] he fired sixty rounds[4] at his comrades and members of the local fire brigade who rushed to the scene to subdue him.[5][6] Drenched by the hoses of the firefighters Fichtner eventually threw away his weapons and was taken into custody.[7]

Four people died on the spot, while eight others were wounded, four of them seriously.[8] One of them, fireman Matthias Mayerhuber, who had been shot in the stomach, died two days later in hospital.[9]

Fichtner, who suffered a head wound when being overpowered, was brought to hospital and stated to have acted in the interest of the community.[8] He also claimed to have once been a patient at an asylum in London. On April 20 he was found to be insane and brought to the Niederösterreichische Landes-Heil- und Pflegeanstalt am Steinhof.[10]


Those killed were:

  • Josef Kodim, Zugsführer
  • Michael Lanner, Feldwebel
  • Matthias Mayerhuber, Löschmeister
  • Anton Pokorny, Zugsführer
  • Franz Stehlik, Infanterist

Those wounded were:

  • Franz Flicker, Infanterist
  • Anton Folterbauer, Infanterist
  • Julius Huf, Feldwebel
  • Paul Löbling, Kadettaspirant
  • Johann Meindl, Gefreiter
  • Leopold Mühlrad, Korporal
  • Franz Schuh, Infanterist


  1. In Charge of Police, He runs amuck, firemen called, Oakland Tribune (April 21, 1916)
  2. Insane soldier murders nine, Spokane Daily Chronicle (April 21, 1916)
  3. Wounded Austrian soldier goes mad, Western Daily Press (April 24, 1916)
  4. Crazy Austrian kills 9, The Day (April 21, 1916)
  5. Die Schreckenstat eines Geistesgestörten, Die Neue Zeitung (April 18, 1916)
  6. Schreckenstat eines Irrsinnigen, Neuigkeits Welt-Blatt (April 18, 1916)
  7. Eastern Arena - Nine persons killed by an insane Austrian, Newcastle Journal (April 22, 1916)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Die Untat eines Tobsüchtigen, Die Neue Zeitung (April 19, 1916)
  9. Die Schreckenstat eines Tobsüchtigen, Die Neue Zeitung (April 20, 1916)
  10. Die Bluttat eines Geistesgestörten, Die Neue Zeitung (April 21, 1916)

Further readingEdit

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